Saving Private Ryan is landing on DVD as promised

As we had reported back in March, DreamWorks Home Video has been preparing a DVD version of Steven Spielberg’s epic anti-war drama Saving Private Ryan for a release day and date with the VHS sell-through version of the film on November 2. Now, DreamWorks Home Video has finally officially announced the title for release and confirmed some of the details.

Unlike what we reported before, the release will not be one of DreamWorks“ outstanding Signature Selection releases. Nevertheless, a few interesting extras will be found on the release. The most important details first, though.

“Saving Private Ryan” will be released in its original theatrical widescreen aspect ratio in a 16×9 enhanced transfer. The transfer used for the DVD is brand new, directly down-converted from a high definition master. Two separate versions of the film will be released on November 2, one featuring a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack, the other one with a 5.1 channel DTS soundtrack with slightly reduced bonus programming.

The Dolby Digital version will contain a 30-minute documentary called “Into The Breach” that can also be found on the VHS version of the film. The DTS release will not contain this feature due to the increased storage spaced needed by the DTS audio bitstream.

Both versions will contain a message by director Steven Spielberg himself, two theatrical trailers, biographies and production notes, and of course DreamWorks” engrossing signature menus. No final retail price has been set for the release yet, but we will update you on that at a later date. The release is expected to come in the mid-$20 range.

We have also had the chance to take a look at the cover artwork and the inlay for the release today, and although we are not able to reprint these here – otherwise the folks at DreamWorks would have to kill us – the cover artwork is almost identical to the one of the upcoming DVD release with a great looking gold framing around the film’s theatrical poster artwork. Very stylish! The inlay itself also looks very cool with some great behind-the-scenes pictures. “Saving Private Ryan” will also be the first DVD release from DreamWorks Home Video to contain a picture disc, once again prominently featuring the theatrical poster artwork, without the superimposed faces.

The release of “Saving Private Ryan” is a very important release for the entire DVD industry, as it marks the first DVD release of one of Steven Spielberg’s major movies. As we have repeatedly pointed out, we have never had any doubts that the disc would show up before the end of the year as earlier indicated by DreamWorks, but nonetheless it is good to finally have the official announcement in hands, knowing the ice is melting. With the growth of the DVD platform and in the competent hands of DreamWorks Home Video the release of this title can hardly be disappointing and will help build Steven Spielberg’s faith in the DVD platform. In the long run this will mean that hopefully “Jaws”, “Schindler’s List” and all of his other long awaited films will slowly make their way to the shiny silver disc too.

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